The railway and the ball, the spread of football in São Paulo State
journal contributionposted on 17.09.2020, 12:55 by Diego M Gutierrez, Marco Bettine, Borja Garcia-GarciaBorja Garcia-Garcia
This article presents an exploratory analysis of the expansion of the railway network and the practice of football in São Paulo state (Brazil). An isolated region of Brazil experienced an economic boom in the middle of the nineteenth century due to the expansion of the coffee production. This transformed the region from an underdeveloped province into the most populous and richest state in Brazil, which resulted in the rapid expansion of the railway network. Designed initially to take the coffee to the coast, and transport workers and industrialized goods, the railway connected the small cities to the larger population centers, bringing new trends and fashions from abroad. Football would also spread alongside the railway network. The people responsible for its construction and administration were also associated with the creation of the first football clubs in the state, presenting this new practice to the local elites and urban dwellers. This article focuses on the foundation of the first football clubs in the most important cities of São Paulo state, analyzing the impact that the expansion of the railway played in the popularization of football, especially how in the majority of the cases the first football clubs were founded by railway personnel.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences